Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has announced that he will be stepping down as the online retailer major’s CEO later this year, after 27 years of service. Bezos will continue to be its biggest shareholder and take over as Amazon’s executive chairman the company said on Tuesday.
Who will take over?
Andy Jassy, the head of Amazon’s cash-cow cloud computing division and someone who has been at Amazon for most of its lifetime, will take over the position of CEO. Jassy is one of the most trusted lieutenants of Bezos and he was generally seen as his successor, provided that back in 2003 he was named the technical “shadow” of the CEO (where he had to accompany Bezos to all his meetings). He is credited with writing the initial business plan for AWS and overseeing the division since it was introduced in 2006. The elevation of Jassy also signals the importance of AWS within the array of divisions of Amazon.
According to several sources, Bezos has stepped back in recent years from the day-to-day role of managing Amazon’s operations, concentrating on the company’s longer-term ventures, including his Blue Origin rocket plan. “As much as I still tap dance into the office, I’m excited about this transition,” Bezos said in a letter to staff on Tuesday. “As Exec Chair, I will remain involved in major Amazon initiatives, but I will also have the time and energy I need to concentrate on the Day 1 Fund, the Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, The Washington Post, and my other passions.” he wrote.
“I have never had more energy, and it’s not a matter of retiring. I’m super passionate about the effect that I think can have on these organizations.”